Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Children of parents in wedlock ARE happiest: Research contradicts claims that children are unaffected by mother and father's marital status

Note:  These researchers actually talked to the children concerned. "Children are interviewed as they reach the age of 16".  Elementary of course but still a big contrast to the recent  studies designed to promote homosexual parenting  -- which just took the word of the  parents and never even clapped eyes on the children concerned

Children whose parents are married have significantly higher self-esteem, according to research unveiled yesterday.

Teenagers of married couples were more confident than those in single-parent families or youngsters whose parents lived together in a stable long-term relationship, it found.

Overall, boys with married parents had the highest self-esteem, while girls with co-habiting parents had the lowest.

Previous research has found that confidence and happiness in childhood has a significant impact on future life chances and is more important than factors such as income.

The latest study contradicts previous claims that children are unaffected by their parents’ marital status.

It found that children whose parents were in stable, long-term co-habiting relationships reported the same levels of self-esteem as those from single parent households.

By contrast, children whose parents were married reported higher levels of self-esteem.

The study, from the Marriage Foundation, was based on data from 3,822 children polled in British Household Panel Survey. Harry Benson, research director at the foundation, said: ‘Conventional wisdom has it that child outcomes depend on parents staying together rather than marital status.

‘This new finding shows that assumption to be false.

‘In terms of self-esteem, teenagers living with parents who are together but not married are no better off than children living with lone parents.

‘Family income makes no difference. Marriage alone provides the boost. A number of studies have shown that self-esteem is closely related to how secure people feel in their relationships.

‘It appears that children of married parents are responding to something they see in their parents’ relationships that reflects greater security.’ Mr Benson said children of married couples were more likely to see their parents as ‘one solid and secure unit’, adding: ‘Their self-esteem benefits accordingly.’

Previous research by the foundation has found that 93 per cent of parents who stay together until their child’s 15th birthday are married.

Its chairman, former High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge, said the Government should place more importance on marriage as it sought to tackle ‘a meteoric rise in family breakdown’. He said: ‘Marriage matters because it is the most important predictor of a child’s future life chances.

‘Not only is a married couple more likely to save their child from undergoing the trauma of family breakdown, we now have evidence that parents’ public declaration of commitment to each other significantly alters a child’s self-perception and self-esteem.

‘Being married not only influences the chances of families staying together. It also influences the well-being of their children. It is not being moralistic or judgmental to say marriage works best for families. It is a statement of fact.’

The Marriage Foundation is a think-tank which aims to reduce divorce rates.

Its previous research has linked family breakdown to poor academic performance in children and mental health issues including depression and anxiety.

A Government guide to divorce launched in 2012 noted: ‘It’s not the separation itself that can cause harm to your children, it’s the level of conflict that they see or hear between parents.’

But the last related major inquiry in Britain, the Exeter Family Study for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said that family breakdown was a greater influence on children than fighting between parents.

Marriage Foundation chairman Sir Paul said that during his career in the family courts, he witnessed a huge rise in the number of children going through the system – and blamed it on the rising number of cohabiting couples who split after becoming parents.


Girl was put in care for eight months after social worker error led to her mother being wrongly branded mentally ill

A former nursery school headteacher has told how bungling social workers put her three-year-old daughter into care for eight months after a medical record mix-up.

Angela Milnes was distraught when council officials wrongly labelled her as mentally ill and threatened to have Sylvia adopted.

The award-winning parenting blogger had to fight to get her daughter back before council bosses finally admitted they had made a mistake.

Eventually, a judge ordered mother and daughter to be reunited and council chiefs were forced to issue an apology. They also agreed to pay Mrs Milnes substantial damages, which must be held in trust until Sylvia, now seven, turns 18.

Yesterday Mrs Milnes, 33, spoke out for the first time. ‘When Sylvia was taken away I was heartbroken,’ she said. ‘It destroyed my life.

‘I cried every night and used to sleep in Sylvia’s bed because that was the only thing I had left. I lost friends – some stuck by me, but others judged me.’

Mrs Milnes was born in the UK but grew up in New Zealand. She trained as a nursery school teacher, got married and had Sylvia in 2008.

However, the couple split and, in 2010, Mrs Milnes returned to the UK, settling in Castleford, West Yorkshire.

The following year in December, Mrs Milnes was contacted by social services after she mentioned to her GP that she was concerned about the behaviour of a man with mental health issues who had befriended her.

As a result, social workers immediately took Sylvia into care.

The move was supposed to be temporary but court papers later revealed that an assessment of the case wrongly labelled Mrs Milnes, who has a chronic illness and sometimes uses a wheelchair, as having mental health issues.

It emerged that social workers misinterpreted a reference in Mrs Milnes’s medical notes from New Zealand and labelled her as a psychiatric patient.

Wakefield Council placed Sylvia with a foster family and court proceedings commenced with a view to her being put up for permanent adoption.

In April and May 2012 Mrs Milnes was forced to undergo two separate psychological and psychiatric assessments, both of which confirmed she was fit to be a mother.

The authorities in New Zealand also confirmed that she had never been a psychiatric patient.

Finally, in July, a family judge sitting at Leeds County Court ordered that she be returned to her mother.

Mrs Milnes lodged a formal complaint with the council and, following a two-year battle, it was eventually upheld and the council were ordered to pay her damages in October 2014.

She married her partner John, 41, in 2013, but said her health has suffered and she has since been diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency, a rare condition which causes chronic exhaustion, pain, headaches and nausea.


How the Left controls the language and the argument

Ever wonder why those on the left who are opposed to personal choice on every level other than abortion refer to themselves as pro-choice?  That’s simple, because it sounds better that what it really is, pro-abortion.  In the mass media there is no such thing as pro-abortion.  Through this sleight of the rhetorical hand those opposed to the taking of an innocent human life are labeled as anti-choice.

One of the keys to leftist success is the manipulation of the language. Moral issues become social issues. The Strategic Defense Initiative became Star Wars as in science fiction. Tax raises become revenue enhancements. Although women outnumber men in America they are linked to minorities.

Had anyone ever heard of a Transgender person five years ago?  Certainly we had all heard of transvestites and cross dressers.  The Collins English Dictionary defines them as follows:  1. (Psychiatry) a person who seeks sexual pleasure from wearing clothes that are normally associated with the opposite sex 2. any cross-dresser. See cross-dressing.

What was once viewed as a psychological oddity has now been relabeled and turned into a movement.  We now have the spectacle of the federal government by edict taking control of school restrooms and showers under the guise of equality.

The left claims it is the ideology that believes in science except when they don’t.  The American College of Pediatricians put out a statement in March of this year stating, “Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: ‘XY’ and ‘XX’ are genetic markers of health — not genetic markers of a disorder. The norm for human design is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species. This principle is self-evident.”

Another example of the left manipulating the language is the United States Congress banning words the left does not approve of from the United State Code and changing them to more politically correct terms. They are calling this, “modernization.” House Resolution 4238 reads in part, “Office of Minority Economic Impact.—Section 211(f)(1) of the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7141(f)(1)) is amended by striking ‘a Negro, Puerto Rican, American Indian, Eskimo, Oriental, or Aleut or is a Spanish speaking individual of Spanish descent’ and inserting ‘Asian American, Native Hawaiian, a Pacific Islander, African American, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Native American, or an Alaska Native.’” The Congress is now the language police.redskins offensive

Also a part of the leftist language agenda is the constant calls for the renaming of streets, schools, sports teams like the Washington Redskins and anything thing else that offends their tender feelings. This gives them the opportunity to take a false moral high ground while schooling the rest of us on our moral failings for not recognizing how right they are. It also subtlety attacks western culture and history. The irony of this coming from an ideology responsible for more human misery and death than any other political movement in history seems to escape them.

The way to fight this is not to go along with the cultural distortion of the left through the modification of the common vernacular. There is no such thing as social studies in schools. It is history. Social issues are not social issues they are moral issues. There is no pro-choice movement it is a pro-abortion movement. People are not trans-anything they either male or female.  If they think otherwise they are mentally ill. If you accept the leftist language distortions you are accepting the premise of their arguments.


A British fish enthusiast has been told to get rid of the pond in his back garden because it could potentially be a hazard for burglars

Sovereign Housing have told Kevin Sheehan to demolish the water features at his home in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

When he asked why, the 62-year-old claims they told him the measure had to be adopted because 'if someone breaks in they could fall in'.

Mr Sheehan, who lives with his partner and their one-year-old daughter Olivia, has slammed the ruling as 'ridiculous'.

He told the Oxford Mail: 'It's my home, I am going to fight it as much as I can – there is no rule in the tenancy about fish ponds.

'The reason they gave was if someone breaks into the back garden they can fall in the pond because there's a six-foot fence all round and they can't see it.

'I said: "Well they shouldn't be breaking in."'

'I've got about 80 fish in the pond, where can I put these fish if I've not got a pond? I can't put them in the river, I'd get into trouble. They can't die because of this.'

Mr Sheehan's fish include Koi carp, fantails and goldfish.  They are currently housed in a small pool at the bottom of his garden as he extends his main pond.  The structure has a wall of concrete blocks surrounding it and the entire garden is surrounded by a 6ft wooden fence.

A letter sent to him from Sovereign said his large brick pond must be removed because of 'possible risk'.  He has also been ordered to remove the smaller one because it 'could impact on the safety of the residents or general public'.

Mr Sheehan has been given three weeks to make the relevant changes. He added: 'I was thinking of my daughter's safety and was building it up another two blocks. I had it at the old height for about 15 years and it's never been a problem.'

Debbie Down, spokeswoman for Sovereign, said: 'We don't want to prevent anyone enjoying hobbies which may include fish keeping in a garden pond, but as the landlord we ask residents to get our permission if they intend running a business from their home or building a permanent structure.'

When MailOnline contacted Sovereign about the pond being demolished due to its danger to burglars, a spokesman said: 'I'm sure there would be that liability.'



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Monday, May 30, 2016

Female computer science professor blasts the sexist geeks she says show 'staggering' bias against women

If there is prejudice against women in computing, it is really POSTjudice -- as women are rarely good at it and it shows.  I am myself a computer programmer -- as is  my son -- and I have taught it at university level. In my observation only the top 2% in IQ can do the harder types of programming.  I still use FORTRAN and my son uses C#.  Many people find such languages hard but for us they are a doddle.

And because the IQ distribution among females is leptokurtic, there are many fewer women than men in that IQ range. I used to run Sydney MENSA for a number of years and it was notable how few female applicants passed the test.  I have met some very good female programmers.  It was a woman -- Gail Sonkkila -- who taught me FORTRAN.  But they are necessarily rare, given their IQ distribution

So Uschi below may be a good feminist but she is no social scientist

UPDATE: Just to prove I am not a Dodo, I should perhaps mention that my son is NOT a computer programmer. He is a "software engineer". But he is a good one. Recently his firm wanted to import some hardware from China. But it needed programming. So they sent their CIO over there to solve that -- accompanied by their hotshot "engineer" -- my son J. He succeeded. He can of course code with great facility but what he really has to offer is problem-solving ability -- aka IQ

A VERY TANGENTIAL UPDATE: At the time I learnt FORTRAN from Gail Sonkkila, I must have mentioned that to some mainstream female -- whose name I have now forgotten (Margaret Moses?). She said of Gail: "She's not exactly a ball of fashion, is she?" It was a good acknowlegement of a fact true to this day -- that computer people have little time for superficialities. Both I and my son dress very "informally" LOL

Sexist geeks who built a prototype of an 'enhanced human' which was entirely male have been lambasted by one of Britain's leading computer scientists.

Ursula Martin, a professor of computer science at Oxford University, said it was a symptom of the 'staggering sexism' in the industry.

She said there was still an anti-female bias and conjured up a picture of male academics like the characters of Sheldon Cooper and Rajesh Koothrappali in The Big Bang Theory, who struggled to engage with women or understand the female viewpoint.

The Times reported that Prof Martin told an audience at the Hay Festival she was shocked to discover some of the attitudes of male computer scientists when she visited the Microsoft research laboratory in Cambridge this week.

She said: 'I was absolutely staggered at the sexism on show.'

Prof Martin said there was a symposium on artificial intelligence and a presentation was given about the 'vision of what an enhanced human would be'.

Prof Martin pointed out the absence of female attributes in the new, advanced human to the person who made the presentation and he had simply responded: 'I suppose'.

A Microsoft spokesman told Mail Online: 'At the Artificial Intelligence Symposium held at Microsoft Research in Cambridge on May 26, there were many external speakers from across academia.

'Contrary to some media reports, the only Microsoft employees who presented at the symposium were women. 'Microsoft is committed through a range of programs such as Make What’s Next to increase the number of women in Computer Science.'

Prof Martin was at the Hay Festival to discuss the contribution to science of Ada Lovelace, a 19th century visionary who foresaw the existence of computers.


Black guy appears to shout racist abuse at an older white woman because she had 'crossed the road too slowly in front of his car'

This is the shocking moment a driver appears to hurl racist abuse at a white woman - for crossing in front of his car too slowly. 

The chaos unfolded at Arena Shopping Park in Rowley's Green, Coventry, on Sunday afternoon, and shows two people yelling at each other as horrified passers-by watch on.

The Mercedes driver can be seen wildly gesturing as his passenger and members of the public try to usher him back to his car outside of Tesco.

It is believed he started bombarding the older woman with abuse because she had crossed the road slowly in front of the his car, according to the Coventry Telegraph.

In the video, phrases such as 'white people' can be heard as his cursing is censored out.

He is eventually guided back to his car where he can be seen lifting his arms threateningly and shouts: 'What you going to do?'

After some more shouting, the woman responds with: 'Go and crash your car.'


Swedish self-hatred

Swedish police have blamed the rise of migrant sex attacks on 'Nordic alcohol culture' and the 'non-traditional gender roles' of European women.

A new report says refugees struggle to 'handle the alcohol' and ignore the consequences for girls when they simply feel 'horny'.

It warns that girls are called 'whores' and are left in fear of walking the streets because migrants see it as a way of 'demonstrating their power over girls'.

The report, entitled The Current Situation of Sexual Molestation and Proposals for Action, says: 'Control is exercised over women through violence, thus shaping her according to the man’s idealised vision of femininity.

'During the exercise of violence, men can feel they embody a typical "male". 'In other words, the violence makes possible what is considered masculine and can provide "benefits" for the perpetrator.'

It notes that Sweden has the worst rates of physical and sexual violence against women in the European Union, it was reported by Breitbart.

The report said: 'Sweden tops the new EU Statistics on physical and sexual violence against women, sexual harassment and stalking.

'The conclusion is that the results are a consequence of Nordic alcohol culture, but also of non-traditional gender roles.'

Sweden said it expected around 60,000 asylum seekers in 2016.

However, this is fewer than the 100,000 forecast in February as border controls across Europe make it harder for migrants to reach the Scandinavian country.

Last year, Sweden received 163,000 asylum applications, making it one of the EU states with the highest proportion of asylum seekers per capita.

The influx to Sweden has plummeted since January 4, when Stockholm introduced systematic photo identification checks on train, bus and ferry passengers entering via Denmark.

At a peak in October, Sweden received around 10,000 asylum requests a week, compared to around 500 now.

The agency noted that while the acute strain on Sweden's capacities – primarily overcrowded asylum housing centres – had subsided since last autumn, 'municipalities, authorities and the rest of society face immense challenges ahead' to cope with asylum seekers.


United Nations opposition to free spreech

After deferring a decision for four years, a key United Nations committee on Thursday voted to deny official status to a non-governmental organization (NGO) focused on press freedom, prompting strong criticism from the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.

“It is increasingly clear that the NGO Committee acts more and more like an ‘anti-NGO Committee,’” Power told reporters in New York after the 19-country body voted to deny “special consultative status” to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Power said it was instructive to see which countries had voted against CPJ’s application for the status, which allows an NGO to take part in sessions of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, as well as several other U.N. organs. More than 4,000 NGOs are accredited.

“The vote is important because countries have to decide which side are they on,” she said. “Are they on the side of free expression and organizations try to advance that cause? Or are they hostile to Article 19 [of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which upholds freedom of expression]?”

“And I think if you look at the list of countries that voted ‘no,’ one learns a few things,” Power added.

In Thursday’s vote of the NGO Committee, six countries supported CPJ’s application, ten opposed it, and three abstained.

The “no” votes came from countries with mostly poor records on press freedom – Azerbaijan, Burundi, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Sudan and Venezuela.   

Supporting CPJ’s application were Greece, Guinea, Israel, Mauritania, the United States and Uruguay. India, Iran and Turkey abstained.

Speaking ahead of the vote U.S. representative Sarah Mendelson urged support for CPJ’s application.

“Each and every day, brave journalists take extraordinary risks to bring us stories we otherwise would not hear: exposing corruption, asking tough questions, and bearing witness to the dignity of innocent men, women, and children suffering the horrors of war,” she said.

“In recognition of this bravery, the members of this committee should work hard to accredit NGOs that report on these issues, especially in light of the ever increasing global crackdown on civic space, the harassment and attacks against journalists, human rights defenders, as well as their friends, families, and supporters.”

The NGO Committee is a subsidiary of the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and its decisions must be endorsed by the full, 54-member ECOSOC at a meeting scheduled for July.

Power said the U.S. would bring the CPJ matter to a vote at ECOSOC, “and we look forward to a lively debate between now and then.”

The CPJ first applied for NGO status in 2012, but its bid was deferred seven times, based on what the group calls “arcane U.N. procedure,” involving “persistent, lengthy, and repetitive questioning.”

Power summarized that procedure as follows: “Countries defer by asking questions. Even when those questions are answered, more questions – the exact same questions – are asked again. It’s just a device, a way of ensuring that those accreditations are not forthcoming.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Jealous multiculturalist who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death, knifing her 26 times in the face and chest, is jailed for life

A British soldier stabbed a Bupa nurse to death, knifing her 26 times in the face and chest and left her for dead in her neighbour's garden.

Father-of-one Josphat Mutekedza, 36, a private in the Territorial Army, killed his 37-year-old ex-girlfriend Miriam Nyazema as he lay in wait for her to arrive home with her new boyfriend.

As Miss Nyazema lay dying with the blade still lodged in her back, Mutekedza battered her around the head with a stool shouting: 'She's caused this mess. 'I can't believe what she's done to me, it's all her fault'.

He was also seen waving a handgun and called police saying: 'She's been cheating on me - sleeping with another man. Where's that man, I'm going to f*****g kill him.'

Miss Nyazema, who worked at a nursing home in Shaw near Oldham, Greater Manchester, was taken to hospital but died just over an hour later.

Her boyfriend Jacob Chigombe, who had been visiting her from his native Zimbabwe, was found hiding nearby.

At Bolton Crown Court, Mutekedza was found guilty of murder after just an hours deliberation by a jury and was ordered to serve a minimum 26 years.

The army private, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, had been engaged to the mother of his baby son but began an affair with the victim who lived in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

He would refer to his mistress as 'Boo Boo' and began spending time away from home.

Mark Kellet prosecuting said: 'His partner realised he was having an affair and in early 2014 they separated. On one occasion she checked his phone and saw a number of Miriam Nyazema and that was entered in the directory as 'Boo Boo'.

'He seemed to want to increase his commitment to Miriam Nyazema but it was clear Miriam did not feel the same. 'She told work colleagues that the relationship had ended and she was now more interested in Jacob Chigombe.

'She said she had hit the jackpot. WhatsApp messages make it clear that their relationship, if not sexual, was certainly romantic. Messages of love and desire were exchanged.'

During a Valentine's Day text exchange Miriam told Chigombe: 'When I woke up I had a big smile on my face because I dreamt I had a baby. Can't wait daddy.' He would also refer to her as 'juicy lips'.

On July 24 last year, Mutekedza who planned to marry Miriam went to visit her - one day before Chigombe was due to arrive in the UK - only for his mistress to end their relationship. The following morning she called police to her home saying he was still in the house and had refused to leave.

He left after being spoken to by the officers but over the next two days the pair exchanged numerous text and Whatsapp messages - with him saying he missed Miriam whilst she said 'needed time to sort her head out.'

During a phone call to police Mutekedza told an operator: 'I'm in the house, she's outside lay down, I don't know who she's with. I stabbed her myself. She's got the knife.

'She's been cheating on me, it was when I came home, she was with another man. He ran away. She's lay down on the street. I don't know where I stabbed her, I didn't check. I'm making violence.'

Police dashed to the scene to find Chigombe in a side street and arrested Mutekedza on the foot path outside Miriam's home.

Tests showed the victim had stab wounds to her chest which collapsed both her lungs.

Mutekedza denied murder but admitted manslaughter by reason of a loss of self control claiming he acted in self defence. He pleaded guilty to a firearms offence.


The betrayal of our boys: They’re falling behind girls in almost every way

And, says SARAH VINE, the feminisation of society, especially our schools, is to blame

The numbers are unequivocal. In every respect, today's girls seem to have the advantage over boys.

Boys are less likely to go to university. If they do get there, they are statistically much more likely to drop out. And all but the most high-flying have fewer job prospects when they leave.

The stark evidence comes in a report published by the Higher Education Policy Institute.

Boys To Men: The Underachievement Of Young Men in Higher Education and How To Start Tackling It, tells us that girls have 35 per cent more chance of entering higher education - a staggering figure that translates into almost 100,000 more young women than men applying to university this year.

But it gets worse. The poorer you are, the more dire the situation. Among pupils on free school meals, girls are 51 per cent more likely than boys to continue their studies after school.

And the group that fares worse than any other is low-income white boys. Just 8.9 per cent of them make it to college.

It's no coincidence that so many of this group are represented in our justice system, in young offender institutions and prisons. Young men from deprived backgrounds with very few opportunities to start off with, but whose options now seem narrower than ever.

So not only are we failing our boys; we're failing those who need our help the most.

Nick Hillman, co-author of the report and a Higher Education Policy Institute director, calls this a national scandal. 'Nearly everyone seems to have a vague sense that our education system is letting young men down,' he says. 'But there are few detailed studies of the problem and almost no clear policy recommendations on what to do about it.'

He suggests more male teachers, combined with other incentives designed to appeal to poor working-class males, would help redress the balance - and save future generations of men from terminal marginalisation.

Meanwhile, Mary Curnock Cook, chief executive of UCAS, the body that processes applications to higher education, issues a warning.

'If this differential growth carries on unchecked,' she writes in her foreword to the report, 'then girls born this year will be 75 per cent more likely to go to university than their male peers.'

That is an imbalance every bit as skewed as the one that existed towards women in the first half of the 20th century - only that it's men who are suffering now.

Predictably, the truths of this report have ruffled some hard-line feminist feathers.

Sorana Vieru, the vice-president of the National Union of Students, said that the report 'takes a complex and nuanced issue and turns it into a 'battle of the sexes'.'

In particular, there was outrage at the suggestion that gender imbalance in the teaching profession - with classrooms dominated by female teachers - was part of the problem. But such knee-jerk, politically motivated defensiveness is pointless.

For the mother of a small boy such as myself, this is grim news. And although my son does not, thankfully, belong to the group most at risk, he is nevertheless growing up in a world where masculinity and male traits in general are increasingly devalued.

It's the same everywhere in the Western World, from the beaches of California to the barbecues of Western Australia - man's place in society is no longer clear.

Of course, some kind of shake-up was long-overdue. But, increasingly, it's starting to look as though society has overshot itself in its eagerness to even up the odds.

The truth is that over the past few decades the common-or-garden male has been in slow but steady decline. Men such as my father, who grew up working on building sites during school holidays - and who, when I came along, knocked up a cot and a set of cupboards from a few bits of plywood - are all but extinct.

Their unashamed male-ness - a sense of responsibility for their families, an expectation of being the main bread-winner, the ability to change a plug - has long been mocked in modern culture as a neanderthal throwback.

New man, the strange, sandal-wearing creature that emerged from the feminism of the Seventies and Eighties saw to that, joining the women at their coffee mornings, eager to discover his feelings and making a virtue of his inadequacy in all areas of traditional masculinity.

It became impossible to open a door for a woman, or pay her a compliment without being accused of rampant sexism.

But a number of factors - all of them interlinked - since then have combined to accelerate the emasculation of men into a full-blown cultural crisis which, as this new report makes plain, could be disastrous for us all.

Key was the arrival of complex technology in the workplace and the advent of the internet.

It meant working became less about brawn (a natural male advantage) and more about brain - opening up all sorts of previously male-dominated areas to women.

In my own newspaper trade, for example, it was the male compositors and printers who went by the wayside; in heavy industries, it was the coalminers and steelworkers. From the farmlands to the shipyards, men began to lose their grip on the labour market. As these changes progressed and demand for skilled male labour fell away, many men were left economically and socially redundant. At the same time, opportunities were opening up for women everywhere.

For the first time ever, the scales started to tip in our favour.

Of course, men don't do all that badly today. The white middle-aged male still dominates at the top of the tree, in the professions and politics. But that is not true of the younger generations.

And among the working-class communities that this report highlights, things are much tougher for your average male.

Heavy industries that require muscle and stamina are in terminal decline. In their place, the creative and service industries - all areas in which women thrive - are booming.

This changing economic landscape has devalued traditional male characteristics that for centuries have been highly prized - physical strength, aggression, determination, grit - in favour of a 'softer' more feminine approach. There is even talk of James Bond becoming Jane Bond.

Thanks to the internet, working from home is much more common -and this, too, favours women over men. Research published this week by the TUC shows that more than 1.5 million workers are now based in their homes, and that the biggest increase in homeworkers is among women - up by 157,000 since ten years ago.

Now we women can run our homes, have babies AND run the world. It's not easy, of course. But plenty can, and do - as the rise and rise of the so-called 'mum-preneur' shows.

In fact, several generations of boys have grown up now with working mothers who not only contribute substantially to the family income, but are in many cases pivotal to financial survival as the pool of traditionally male-dominated jobs dwindles.

Boys and young men look around them and what do they see? A world they can no longer expect to inherit. A world where women not only have the same opportunities as men, but in some cases more.

This is no bad thing; but equality should not come at the expense of the losing side.

Our boys and young men desperately need to find their feet in this brave new world. And to do that they need support, a new set of goals to which they can aspire - and modern role models.

Mr Hillman's point about more male teachers is very important. Women make great teachers; but the fact remains that boisterous young boys of a certain age and stage will not respect a woman teacher in the same way they will a man.

They need strong males they can fear and respect - and on whom they can model their own behaviour.

But it's not just at school where the problem lies. Generations of boys are now growing up with an entirely different perspective on the role of men in the world.

Many see their mothers fulfilling roles that their fathers would have taken in the past. This cannot help but change their view of themselves as males.

Some will become apathetic and directionless; others introspective and depressed.

The social group that the recent survey identifies as being most at risk - the white working classes - has witnessed more than any other the erosion of their own fathers' identities as traditional working-class male jobs have disappeared.

But while no end of thought and effort has gone into helping women and girls get better access to education and opportunity, little has been given to helping boys adapt to this shift - and to the loss of the certainties their grandfathers enjoyed.

Past generations of men never had it easy; but their roles were at least clearly defined. They would become protectors and providers, defenders of the traditional family.

Academic success and ambition were, therefore, important to them. It was drummed into them from a young age that they would be responsible for the financial welfare of the next generation. There was strength in that certainty. On top of all this, there is another factor fatally undermining young men. The rise of a highly toxic and vindictive form of radical - some might say sadistic - feminism in colleges and on campus makes being a boy ever harder.

Today's male students must negotiate a minefield of extreme political correctness in schools and universities. At a crucial time when they are developing their all-important sense of self, they are being overwhelmed by negative messages about masculinity.

You see it all the time: the all-must-have prizes approach of so many in the liberal teaching establishment who frown on competitive achievement in academia and sport; the university undergraduate accused by the sorority of being a foul rapist when in fact the sex was consensual; the 'silencing' of anyone who dares challenge the destructive feminist status quo.

As a woman, I don't know what to make of these things; as a young man it must be nigh on impossible. How can they possibly know which way is up?

What we are witnessing here, it seems to me, is a form of revenge.

What right have men to whine? For centuries they had the upper hand - surely it's only fair now that they get a taste of their own medicine? Shouldn't they just - if you'll pardon me - man up and accept that all this has been a long time coming?

Part of me rather agrees with this view. There was a huge imbalance in society and it needed to be redressed. But once the scales start to go the other way, there is a real risk that the entirely legitimate fight for freedom and equality can turn sour, and become every bit as nasty as the one it seeks to overthrow.

The fact is that our boys are being punished by a society so anxious to atone for the sexism of the past that it cannot see how it is destroying innocent lives. They are quite genuinely paying for the sins of their fathers.

Boys such as my son have done nothing wrong. They shouldn't have to deal with all this baggage being heaped on their young shoulders.

And it's clear that it is starting to effect their so-called 'life chances'.

Garth Stahl, a sociology and literacy lecturer, spent a year researching the educational aspirations of 23 white working-class boys aged between 14 and 16 in three London schools.

He found that in all cases, the schools they attended worked hard to promote the idea of university education. But the problem wasn't the schools; it was the boys. They were culturally worried about the idea of academic success. In fact, the idea seemed to make them rather uncomfortable.

As Stahl wrote: 'One participant, George, said: 'I do want to be someone that stands out, but I don't want to at the same time ... I want people to see me as a smart person, but I don't want to be like someone who's embarrassing.'

If the past few decades of post-feminist cultural domination have taught boys and men anything, it's this: to be embarrassed and ashamed of who they are. To suppress their natural instincts, to run less, fight less, shout less - to just be less like themselves.

Granted, no one wants a return to the bad old days; but neither do we want to see half the population reduced to a quivering, snivelling puddle. It's time to stand up for our boys, and teach them how to live in the modern world - as proud, unabashed men.


The absurd WHO

An Israeli delegate lashed out this week at the World Health Organization for politicizing its annual assembly by singling out his country – the only one on earth condemned at the meeting for violating health rights.

Confronting what he called “the ritual of naming and shaming Israel,” Omer Caspi on Wednesday criticized member states which he said “turn their eyes, ears and hearts away from real health emergencies and devote precious time and resources to politics.”

“So, since you want politics, I will give you politics,” he told the gathering in Geneva, going on to recount some facts and statistics arising out of the civil wars in Syria and Yemen, as documented by the U.N. itself. Among them:

--360 attacks on medical facilities in Syria, at the cost of the lives of more than 730 medical personnel. A U.N. commission of inquiry has called the attacks war crimes

--the closure of 600 health centers in Yemen and the deaths from preventable diseases of 50,000 children under the age of five over the past year

-- 19 million people in Yemen lacking access to clean water and 14 million in urgent need of health care.

Neither Syria nor Yemen – nor any other country around the world – is the subject of a country-specific resolution at this year’s WHO assembly, which runs through Saturday.

The sole country-specific resolution, introduced by the Arab states and the Palestinian Authority, condemns Israel for “health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan (sic)”.

It commissions the WHO to carry out a “field assessment,” focusing among other things on “the impact of prolonged occupation and human rights violations on mental, physical and environmental health.”

Notwithstanding Caspi’s appeal for member-states to reject the resolution it was adopted by a large margin – 107-8, with 8 abstentions.

The eight “no” votes came from the United States, Canada, Australia, Israel, Guatemala, Paraguay, Micronesia and Papua New Guinea. Every member of the European Union voted in favor.

During his short statement Caspi contrasted the situation in Syria and Yemen to that in the Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights.

Among Palestinians, under-five mortality rates are down and life expectancy rates up, he said, claiming that the results were “far better” than the average for the Arab states’ group at the U.N.

Despite terror attacks by Palestinians against Israelis, Caspi said, almost 100,000 Palestinians from the West Bank were treated in Israeli hospitals over the past year.

And on the Golan Heights, he said, all residents including Druze “enjoy the same health care as all Israelis.”

He added that Israeli hospitals have treated almost 3,000 Syrian victims of the civil war.

Caspi concluded by saying the WHO should leave politics to the U.N.’s political institutions.

“It is absurd that we should sit here year after year, listening to a political harangue against my country as well as to my rebuttal,” he said. “This theatre of the absurd must come to an end.”


The Australian Federal election is shaping as a battle between the two most politically correct leaders in Australia’s history

Mark Latham, below, was a terrible leader of the ALP but is always outspoken, a rare virtue

IN this era of political correctness and gender fluidity, Mother’s Day is lucky to survive. Under the guidance of the Safe Schools program, it’s only a matter of time before the second Sunday in May becomes an UN-sanctioned International Day For People Who Identify As Being Mothers. It will be open to men and women alike.

This is the logical extension of Leftist identity politics: a belief that capitalist social conditioning has fried our brains so badly that none of us can figure out our true gender role.

I’m a 55-year-old man who has spent the past 40 years admiring attractive women and, along the way, fathering three children.

But if only they had taught Safe Schools in the 1970s, I could have broken free from capitalist indoctrination, signed up for neo-Marxist gender politics and emerged as Australia’s answer to Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner.

At Sunday’s lunch in the splendid La Vigna Restaurant in Camden, my kids could have had two mothers, not just one.

On Father’s Day we wouldn’t have to bother, staying home to read our gender fluidity lecture notes from La Trobe University.

Not surprisingly, in my state of false consciousness, I’m not alone. As I looked around the restaurant two days ago, all the mothers ­appeared to be women and all the fathers appeared to be men.  They too missed the Safe Schools lesson where you arrive from outer space without a penis or vagina and then sort out what to do.

Undeterred by our lack of formal education, we dug into the veal scallopini and seafood ravioli instead.

It says something bizarre about Australian politics that in this election campaign, both major parties are committed to keeping Safe Schools and the equally Goebbelesque Building Respectful Relationships program. As a duo, Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten are the two most politically correct leaders in our history.

They have formed an elitist bipartisanship around the things the Australian people aren’t allowed to hear.

Think of it as the great silence swindle of election 2016.

Over the next eight weeks there will be no talk of how welfare dependency in places like Auburn, Parramatta and Merrylands has become an Australian breeding ground for Islamic terrorism.

There will be no talk of how the nation’s 200,000 per annum immigration program is adding daily to congestion and urban sprawl, making large parts of Sydney unlivable. There will be no talk of amending section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to restore genuine freedom of speech.

There will be no talk of curbing the thought-police powers of the Human Rights Commission, which has declared its right to name and shame “racists”, even when there is no evidence of racial malice.

There will be no talk about the true extent of domestic violence in Australia: the ABS statistic showing an annual rate of domestic assault against women of 1.06 per cent. Instead, we’ll be bombarded with more taxpayer-funded propaganda about an “epidemic” and “national emergency”.

From Bill Turnbull and Malcolm Shorten, there will be no talk about the importance of teaching strength and resilience in our schools.

Their education policies will add to the Age of Sookery — where children are encouraged to play the victim, seeking quotas and other nanny-state interventions to succeed in life. There will be no talk of ending Australia’s pill-pop culture, where newly invented ailments such as “anxiety depression” have become an all-purpose alibi for errant footballers, welfare slackers and those claiming to be freaked out by the prospect of a democratic national vote on same-sex marriage.

Most of all, there will be no talk exposing the fraud of identity politics: the Leftist obsession subdividing our nation on the basis of race, gender and sexuality.

By encouraging people to focus on their individual identity, the Left is atomising society and destroying our sense of community, no less than the individualistic Right.

How fitting for this election to have been called on Sunday. It’s the mother of all politically correct charades.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Friday, May 27, 2016

Japanese prime minister publicly shames Obama over the 'despicable' murder of an Okinawa woman by US Marine

How come I knew it would be a black as soon as I saw the headline?

Japan's prime minister publicly shamed President Barack Obama over a 'despicable' murder allegedly at the hands of a former US Marine on Okinawa.

Obama sought to ease Japanese anger over the death of the woman by expressing his 'deepest regrets' and saying the United States would co-operate in the prosecution of Kenneth Shinzato, the American man who was arrested for the crime.

Prime minister Shinzo Abe publicly expressed his indignation over the case of a 20-year-old Okinawan woman who had been missing since late April and was reportedly raped and murdered at a joint press conference with Obama shortly after the pair held talks in private.

'As Japanese prime minister, I protested sternly to President Obama over the recent incident in Okinawa,' Abe told reporters on Wednesday.

'I feel profound resentment against this self-centred and absolutely despicable crime,' Abe said on Wednesday.

Obama arrived earlier Wednesday for a two-day summit of Group of Seven countries, which formally begins Thursday.

'I extended my sincerest condolences and deepest regrets,' Obama added.

'The United States will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation and ensure that justice is done under the Japanese legal system.'

A series of crimes, including rapes, assaults and hit-and-run vehicle accidents by US military personnel, dependents and civilians have for years sparked local protests on the crowded island that hosts numerous US military bases.

But public anger boiled over last week after police arrested Shinzato, 32, in connection with the missing woman's death.

Shinzato, a US citizen who was working at the sprawling Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, was arrested for allegedly disposing of the woman's body, Okinawan police have said.

He has reportedly admitted to raping and killing Rina Shimabukuro, who had been missing since late April.

Police suspect Shinzato was responsible for the woman's death but he hasn't formally been charged with the crime.

Shimabukuro was last heard of at 8pm on April 28, when she messaged her boyfriend to say she was going for a walk.

Shinzato was arrested after investigators found her body at a location he provided.

The case has threatened to overshadow a planned visit to Hiroshima immediately after the summit ends on Friday, though remarks by the two leaders likely helped clear the air.


UK: 'Some children need spanking': Women defend hitting kids to punish them

Note the word "some" above.  All kids are not the same. A blanket ban could result in a dangerous breakdown in restraint among some kids

The debate over smacking children raged over Twitter today as parents took to social media to debate whether physical punishment should be made illegal.

The debate was instigated after a phone-in on ITV's This Morning asked viewers to share their views on the proposed UN ban.

While many supported it as a method of disciplining their kids and defended their own parents hitting them, others branded it as 'sick'.

One viewer, Georgina Abbott, tweeted: 'I was smacked on the back of the hand or on the bum as a kid - never harmed me!'

Another viewer, Murf, echoed the view posting: 'I got smacked as a kid, I've never been in jail for violence #smackingban.'

Sarah Lewis ‏agreed posting: 'I was smacked as a child and I never hit another child. Children need to learn discipline.' 

Beth Smith ‏agreed posting: 'Some children need smacking.' 

'How do you explain violent out of control children who have NEVER been smacked then? Utter nonsense! abuse vs discipline' tweeted another.

Other felt strongly that any form of smacking is wrong calling it 'sick' and 'xx'.

Bee Brailsford ‏tweeted: 'Any kind of physical abuse is WRONG, an adult hitting a child leaves mental scars.'

'Making a child behave by driving fear into them is not good parenting, sorry.' tweeted Stephen Robinson.

'A tap on the hand is OK, but a full-blown smack is not,' said Jane, another parent who phoned in to the programme.

Another caller, Elizabeth, caller felt there is nothing wrong with a smack on the nappy or the hand: 'I just feel now that children have more rights than parents. I see parents being bitten and hit and all the parents do is tell their children not to do it again. But it doesn't work.'


The Origins of Political Correctness in the British Police Force

After getting the usual wave of silly, resentful attacks from police officers, for daring to criticise their complacent and liberal nationalised industry, I looked out this old article from the Mail on Sunday of 27th July 2004, written nearly 12 years ago. This is before discontent with modern policing was as widespread as it is now, and also before the police had been wholly revolutionised by the post-Macpherson inquisition and many officers from the old tradition were still in positions of responsibility. It explains a lot.

You may sometimes wonder why modern police officers are so word-perfect in the language of liberal political correctness. You may be puzzled as to how a generally conservative organisation, which once chased thieves and bad people in a fairly straightforward way, has suddenly become so keen on pursuing racism, homophobia and the other thought-crimes that obsess political radicals.

Here is part of the answer. They have been carefully and systematically trained in the Newspeak of the New Left, who know very well just how influential the trusted blue uniform of the British police constable is. I have been shown a document that has for some years been used to train officers in what is called 'Community Awareness'.

It smacks of the re-education camp and the thought police, and about half the people of this country would find it quite disturbing.

The other half, who have grown up since ultra-liberal ideas took over the schools and most of the media, may not be so surprised. The progress of the cultural revolution over the past two decades is so gigantic that the whole idea of what is shocking and what is not has altered.

One part of our country barely understands what the other one thinks any more. But where the two nations clash in any state-controlled body or big company, it is the new thinking that always seems to win.

See what you make of it. The booklet, originally produced by Kent Police in 1999, has been copied by some other forces and, I'm told, is typical of the sort of course officers must undergo. It is currently being revised to take account of - you've guessed it - European Union directives on religion and sexual orientation.

It is clever and subtle. It is what it does not quite say that is most worrying. I believe the assumption behind it is that many police officers - too young to be retired or otherwise easily got rid of - are guilty of crude prejudices and must be made to feel ashamed of them.

If they bridle at a course such as this, then they will wreck their careers because their chief constables have plainly put their authority behind the ideas in it. But if they submit to it, they will ever afterwards be tamed and neutered.

It opens with a 'self-assessment' quiz. The student is invited to agree or disagree with such statements as 'The UK is a multicultural society', 'Everyone has some prejudices', 'I will always challenge inappropriate language or behaviour', and 'We must adapt our policing practices to suit various cultures'. The instructions say: 'Answer as honestly as you can.' At the end of the booklet, the quiz is repeated. There is a suggestion that the student should go back and look at his original answers. You would have to be a prize fool not to realise that you are expected to have shifted from one end of the spectrum to the other as a result of ploughing through the pages in between.

It is courses such as these, I suspect, that have led to the new climate of fear in which officers are afraid of speaking openly even among formerly trusted colleagues in case they are denounced for some incorrect slip-up, and so lose their jobs and even their pensions.

Certainly, I am amazed and distressed by the number of serving police officers who write to me about the state of the force and beg me not to identify them in any way.

Yet it is so hard to pin down the insidious nature of this material. You catch it on the edge of a remark, passing by so fast that - if you are not paying attention - you don't realise the importance of it.

Take, for instance, the section on Britain as a multicultural society. All the facts are correct, but the way they are presented is thoroughly questionable. Yes, Romans, Vikings, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Normans and Jews all came to or lived on these islands in the previous 2,000 years.

But from 1066 until very recently, there were very few immigrants of any kind to this country, and Britain developed its own distinct national character - to which those immigrants adapted.

But the booklet tries to suggest this has always been a diverse, multicultural country. 'The whole history of Britain's population is one of ebb and flow of different peoples and tribal groups,' it claims.

For the most important 900 years of Britain's history, from 1066 to the Sixties, this simply was not true, and is the reason for our unique language, customs, institutions, religious opinions, laws - and our unique ability to sustain policing by consent, by unarmed officers.

It is only since the Sixties that the reformers have sought to change the country to suit the supposed wishes of migrants, rather than requiring migrants to conform to local customs.

What would happen, I wonder, to an officer who had the nerve to point this out to the 'Community and Race Relations Training Department'?

The booklet then asks, 'Is there any such thing as a "True Brit"?' and replies that 'the historical background and cultural diversity of Britain suggests this is an impossible question to answer'.This quiet demolition of a cherished loyalty to a proud and rather enviable civilisation seems to me to be as cruel as it is untrue, and the very heart of what is wrong with this creepy brainwashing.

Much of the rest of it seems designed to demonstrate that there is almost no way to avoid being racist, however hard you try. The use of the expression 'non-white' is allegedly 'felt to be offensive and racist' by unnamed persons because it 'defines people by what they lack and implies that being white is normal/superior'.

Perhaps for those baffled as to why a Black Police Association is encouraged whereas a White Police Association would be (rightly) denounced, the pamphlet asks: 'Can minorities be racist?' The answer appears to be: 'Not really.' It says: 'Minorities may of course have prejudices relating to the majority group and may sometimes act on these. Whether it is appropriate to refer to this as racism is debatable (remember that Racism = Prejudice + Power). If it is so referred a more appropriate term would be "reactive racism".

'In this sense the minority is reacting to majority power or dominance . . . by possibly using derogatory remarks for whites and promoting the image "black is beautiful", for instance.' The experienced constable or sergeant confronted with this knows one thing for certain - that he can never be sure, for the rest of his time in uniform, that he will not commit some sort of speech crime.

He may also quietly conclude that the really wicked aspect of racism - hate and fear based on skin colour - is not actually being challenged here. Such emotions are excused if they are felt by anyone apart from white English people.

But what can he do, by himself? Inch by inch, piece by piece, the world he grew up in has been dismantled and replaced by another. The same thing is happening to almost everyone he knows.

And so, the very people who would once have complained loudly about 'political correctness gone mad' find themselves enforcing exactly that.


Sheriff: Obama Only President to Tell Killers 'They Are Product of Racist Criminal Justice System'

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke told an audience at the National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action’s (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum in Louisville, Ky., on Friday that President Barack Obama is the first president in history to visit a prison and tell rapists, drug dealers, and murderers “that they are the product of a racist criminal justice system.”

“Today’s society confronts us with many threats from criminal behavior. In fact, our criminal friendly president spends his final days releasing violent career criminals back onto the streets of already struggling communities,” Clarke said. “He is the only president in U.S. history to visit a prison and tell killers and rapists and drug dealers that they are the product of a racist criminal justice system.

“Has this guy lost his mind?”  Clarke asked.

“As my good friend Sean Hannity is fond of saying, let not your hearts be troubled for in 244 days and a little less than 10 hours, Barack Obama will exit the White House for the very last time. And finally, his reign of terror over your freedom, over your Constitution, and over your right to keep and bear arms, his reign of terror will be over,” Clarke said.

Clarke began his speech announcing, “Let me be clear on one thing: Blue lives matter. Police lives matter. Cops’ lives matter.”

Clarke noted that a Phoenix police officer was killed in the line of duty on Thursday while responding to a burglary.

“He was shot by the perpetrator. So please keep him and the Phoenix police department in your prayers,” Clarke said.


Australia:  Opponent of multiculturalism to make return to politics

Good.  I will be able to vote for her once again -- JR

PAULINE Hanson wants to halt Australia’s refugee intake and force people to be fingerprinted before they go to the doctor as part of an anti-immigration scare campaign.

If the former Oxley MP wins a seat in the Senate, she would use the platform to mount another attack on multiculturalism and push for an immigration policy that discriminates against Muslims.

In a series of Donald Trump-inspired policies, Ms Hanson wants a royal commission into whether Islam is “a religion or a political ideology”, a ban on new Islamic schools and CCTV cameras installed in existing mosques.

Ms Hanson wants Medicare cards to include photographs and fingerprints to stop what she says is fraudulent use of Australia’s health system by migrants.

Senior members of the Government and Opposition yesterday condemned Ms Hanson’s attempted political revival after The Courier-Mail revealed the major parties fear she is likely to win a Senate seat in Queensland.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop warned the Coalition would only work with “sensible senators” and would shun Ms Hanson if she entered Parliament. “It seems to me she doesn’t have policies that will make a positive contribution,” she said.

Labor frontbencher Penny Wong said she was alarmed by the suggestion Ms Hanson “might be in with a chance”. “I’ve spent a lot of my adult life arguing against the views that she’s promulgated,” she said.

Queensland Labor Senate candidate and party powerbroker Anthony Chisholm said Ms Hanson’s return “could not come at a worse time” as Australia tries to boost economic ties with Asia.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Thursday, May 26, 2016

The non-fairytale truth about stepparents

I think this is an important story. Media representations of step-parents tend to be negative stereotypes.  I had it easier than most as a step-parent.  When I first met my three  step-children (aged 5, 5 and 7) the first thing I did was to sit down and talk to them in my usual jocular way for a couple of hours.  I got them to tell me about what they thought about all sorts of things.  And from that time on all was sunny.  The kids went home to their father and his new lady that night and announced, "John was great!" -- getting a not entirely enthusiastic though civil response.  They are all now adults with children of their own but we still get on well -- JR

Stories of children who have experienced awful parenting under the “protection” of a stepparent have become all too familiar.

Google “stepparents”. You’ll read all about the dos and don’ts of managing “blended families” and can even download your own self-help guide that facilitates the rules and regulations for making the love of two people a comfortable experience for all kids involved.

Hit the news tab and you’ll read about the people who didn’t read this step-by-step guide on how to be a prize stepparent and the salacious headlines that accompany some of their awful offences.

The word stepparent itself, in my view, does have an ugly kind of ring to it. Did your parents read Cinderella to you as a kid? Not the remake, or the politically correct version — the ugly and at times quite tragic 1950s original. Mine did.

I’ll share with you another side of the stepparent story, or enigma as it is. One that doesn’t fit the all too common stereotype.
The story of Cinderella painted a less than rosy picture of any “step” family member . (Pic: Supplied)

Enter Norman — otherwise known as Normie, Normie G, Norm, or, when he’s in trouble, NORMAN. Norm is my stepdad, although I hate referring to him as that because I feel as though I’m doing him a great disservice.

Perhaps it was the Cinderella book, perhaps it was the bad experiences shared with me by friends, or maybe it’s just that the “step” really doesn’t define him and his extraordinary qualities adequately.

My mum and dad divorced when my twin-sister, Lauren, and I were four years old. We were a “broken family” as it was referenced in the 90s. We were five when Mum met Norm and we were six when we pranced down the red carpet, spraying our confetti everywhere as they followed us down together and wed.

Norman’s first year with us was the worst. Lauren and I were spoiled. My mum was trying to juggle her happiness and the happiness she envisaged for us with the guilt that came with introducing an unwanted party to the household and taking a risk that could have ended really badly.

Our mum and dad’s marriage (prior to Norm) had taught us standards of living that alone, my mum couldn’t maintain. When she packed us up in her car, tears flowing on all of our cheeks, w​and said goodbye to my dad (who is also a brilliant man), she did so knowing we’d all get a pretty big reality check when we left the city and returned to destination country town, a place she once called home.

At five, the hand holding between them was probably the most painful thing to witness. “You’re not our dad,” and “Don’t touch my mum” were remarks he endured pretty consistently for his first few months from Lauren and I. What a romantic honeymoon period in your relationship, right?

He didn’t retort, he didn’t call us out on our ill-informed behaviour, he just smiled at us and let go of Mum’s embrace and would make room either side of her for us to take over.

I don’t know what the tipping point was — we made his life very difficult and refused him like the plague. I remember him setting up our first fish tank that was like a state-of-the-art aquarium in our house — perhaps that’s what got him over the line. Whatever it was, in a short time and at a very young age, Lauren and I grew to love him and we loved the way he made our mum laugh, love and be happy.

When you grow up hearing only stories of evil stepparents, it can be confronting when you get a blended family of your own. (Pic: Disney’s live-action feature film Cinderella).

Growing up, Norm was my everything — my ultimate. He was hard on us, set very high standards and today, and for every day in between, I am so grateful.

Norm taught me how to read, write and how to drive. He taught me how to be disciplined enough to learn at school and the importance of knowledge and a good education when I would come home sheepishly with a report card that read: “Very intelligent and high potential, but can be easily distracted.”

He always listened and thankfully, he taught me how to be patient and silent enough to listen to him as well. He is philosophical, nonsensical sometimes, has a wicked sense of humour and his emotional and intellectual capacity is unprecedented.

He was an electrician, which was a stark contrast to Dad’s career as a PR executive. His knowledge was endless and never declared sacred. No question was off-limits. I would race home from school beaming with pride after my exams to show him what his teachings had done for my understanding of the World Wars, political afflictions and my grades.

When I seek to explain Normie’s brilliance to others, two memories stick:

Starting that “time of the month”

When I got my lady business at the age of 12 and my mum sent him down to the local shop to buy supplies as she sat down with me and talked through my reproductive cycle on a calendar​ (I was 12!!!), Norm returned home with a vast array of cotton surfboards in hand ​ (he covered all brands and bases) without a paper bag in sight to disguise his mission from the locals. ​ He was not embarrassed. ​

Building a boat

When he built his own boat with his own two hands. (Smart move — he needed a sanctuary after sharing a living space with three very open and over-sharing women for more than 15 years). He sat for months sketching designs on gridded pages until he was happy enough, knowing he got it right.

Whenever I go home to visit, he invites me on board the boat and we sit on the deck, share some wine and look at the stars while talking about life.

I could rattle off thousands of instances where Norman really has broken the stepparent​ mould and my perception of it — he’s done far more than was ever expected to show my sister and I a solid​, caring and unconditional upbringing.

Simply put, Norman was a blessing. He is a father, a mentor, soulmate and friend. He is irreplaceable and our lives would have been so different had he not entered them.

That is what he did for me and my sister, in the years that we most needed it. He is part of the foundation of who we have become and I hope like hell every day that we’ve done him proud.

​Not all stepparents are to be feared or resented — Norm took on the role of dad, without me ever having to ask him.


What’s all this talk about resilience?

HAVE YOU NOTICED how all of a sudden, everything is “resilient”? I was listening to a not uninteresting public radio broadcast on urban moss, when I learned that several stations have merged “resilience reporting” desks — to keep us abreast of hardy lichens, I guess.

I saw in the paper that University of Arizona professor Dr. Andrew Shatte was lecturing in the area on “Why Some People Are Resilient, and Others Are Not.” Shatte arrived early to the resilience party, as co-author of the 2003 book, “The Resilience Factor: Seven Essential Skills for Overcoming Life’s Inevitable Obstacles.”

The promotional materials for Shatte’s Boston appearance promised that “in the final moments of the workshop, he’ll even reveal the biggest secret to a life of resilience!”

Boston recently appointed a “Chief Resilience Officer,” Dr. Atyia Martin, whose mission “will be to help the city cope with stress,” the Globe reported. For the time being, the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation, not the taxpayers, pays Martin’s salary.

Rockefeller is all in on resilience, with a Global Resilience Partnership, the National Disaster Resilience Competition, and the 100 Resilient Cities program, in which Boston is participating. Among the resilience officers’ duties, the foundation’s website explains, is “ensuring that the city applies a resilience lens so that resources are leveraged holistically and projects planned for synergy.”

A spokesman told me that Rockefeller started investing in resilience projects about 10 years ago, after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. The foundation has spent about half a billion dollars on resilience programs, including public radio’s lichenological investigations.

I think we attained Peak Resilience last month, when President Obama invoked the r-word during a public appearance at the CIA. “I want to remind Americans again … how to be strong, how to be resilient,” he said. “We have to refuse to give in to fear. We have to stay true to our values of liberty and diversity and openness.”

Resilience means the ability to bounce back after adversity. There’s a cottage industry in Boston devoted to congratulating ourselves on our post-Marathon bombing resilience. You want to see some resilience? Visit Dresden, or Hiroshima, or Warsaw, or any of the many Russian cities vaporized 70 years ago during World War II.

To be fair, I spent some time talking to Martin, Boston’s resilience officer, and the subject of the Marathon bombings never came up. She cheerfully admitted that most people don’t exactly get what she does. “There’s lot of speculation,” she said. “People hear my title, and they say, ‘That’s interesting — what does it mean?’”

Martin sees her brief as primarily promoting racial equity in the city. “When you have an emergency, it disproportionately burdens people of color,” she said. “The goal is closing the gap between people of different communities so everyone can have the kind of healthy community they would like to live in.”

Resilience talk is just a little too glib, a little too modish, a little too nonsensical for my tastes. Americans seem to me like the least resilient people on earth, obsessing over bathroom access and Twitter wars while one-tenth of the planet starves to death. Starbucks ran out of one percent milk? I’m calling my congressman!

Can resilience be taught, or implemented, through government programs and foundation grants? Perhaps. To me, resilience is a quality that Americans lost years ago: The ability to take a punch and get back off the mat.

Now the instinct is to stay down on the mat, and find someone to blame for your problems — the Mexicans, the Muslims, the welfare cheats. Someone could run for president on that platform. Indeed, someone is.


Black Iowa Student Starts Fight, Loses, Makes Up Hate Crime, Gets Caught

A savage hate crime at the University of Iowa that sent shockwaves across campus turned out to be just another hoax, police said Tuesday.

The case of Marcus Owens caused a deluge of outrage when it first emerged in early May. Owens claimed on the night of April 30 he was attacked, out of nowhere and without provocation, by three white college-age men, who beat him bloody while screaming racial slurs and landed him in the hospital.

Activist students claimed the attack showed a climate of racial hatred in Iowa City, and they also denounced the university for taking until May 4 to issue a statement about the matter.

“How many black students must be a victim of a hate crime before an alert is sent out,” one student complained online at the time.

 But after a two-week investigation, Iowa City police have concluded, after interviewing witnesses and viewing surveillance footage, that no hate crime occurred at all, and that Owens’ account of his injuries was almost completely false.
In Owens’ account, he arrived at the Eden Lounge, an Iowa City bar, around 9 p.m., stepped out for a phone call around 10 p.m., and was then attacked.

But footage, which was released by police, shows a very different series of events. The footage shows Owens entered the bar close to midnight, and then getting involved in a massive bar melee around 1:35 a.m. He was kicked out of the bar, and then proceeded to get in two additional fights within the next 10 minutes. In all of the fights Owens is acting aggressively and throwing punches, and police say he appears to have been the instigator in at least one of the fights.

While at least one participant in the fighting does seem to have yelled a racial slur, that’s not enough to justify a hate crime charge, police said.

Owens initially walked off his injuries, but later went to the hospital to have them treated. On Monday night, he created his story of an unprovoked racial attack.

Owens and his family have issued an apology, blaming his actions on a mixture of alcohol and embarrassment.

“Marcus now knows that his account of events was inconsistent with police findings, in part due to alcohol being involved, his embarrassment at his behavior, as well as the injuries he sustained,” the family’s statement says. “In light of this, it was concluded that this incident was not a hate crime as originally believed, but rather a case of excessive underage drinking and extremely poor judgment on the part of many people, Marcus included.”

Police say that thanks to the apology, they will not file a false reporting charge, even though the evidence supports one.

Owens isn’t the first college student in 2016 to try spinning a run-of-the-mill fight as a violent hate crime. Three University at Albany students claimed they were attacked by a white mob on a bus in January, only to have police conclude they were the actual aggressors. Those students have been kicked out of school and hit with an array of criminal charges.


Events in Europe vindicate Australian immigration policy

The spectre of political disruption in Europe moved another step closer to reality on Monday when Norbert Hofer, the anti-immigration candidate for Austrian president, lost by a hair’s breadth.

The rise of Hofer, leader of the far-right Austrian Freedom Party, to claim 49.7 per cent of votes is Europe’s Trump moment. For the first time since Austrian voters were given the right to choose their president in 1951, neither mainstream party will fill that role. Disillusioned with the political establishment and its inability to handle the migration crisis, voters cleaved to the far left and the far right and the win by former Greens and now independent Alexander Van der Bellen by 2,254,484 votes to Hofer’s 2,223,458 votes will do little to bridge Austria’s deep divisions. The lessons for Australia are clear. Those who foolishly demonised Immigration Minister Peter Dutton last week fail to understand that social and political cohesion depends on public confidence in an immigration system.

Snooty Europeans have had a tendency to look aghast at the rise of populist Donald Trump in the US. They turn up their noses at Trump’s rise as an “only-in-America” phenomenon where angry, mainstream Americans have snubbed the establishment for reasons relevant only to America. Yet, European elites now face their own nightmare on main street.

The driving force behind Hofer’s rise is deep community anxiety about the ramifications of uncontrolled immigration. In a small country that has taken in 90,000 asylum-seekers last year — more than 1 per cent of its population — almost half of Austria’s voters looked to a leader, even a symbolic presidential one — to send a blunt message to Austria’s political establishment: the political, social and economic consequences of uncontrolled immi-gration from the Middle East cannot be ignored any more.

The fault lines for Monday’s result were laid last year when Angela Merkel opened Germany’s door to every asylum-seeker fleeing Syria. Merkel’s welcome mat is a stark reminder that good intentions can lead to devastating outcomes — such as the rapes in Cologne on New Year’s Eve where one police report recorded a perpetrator saying: “I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly. Mrs Merkel invited me.” As Milton Friedman said, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” European elites ruminating over Monday’s election should see Hofer’s rise as the direct result of Merkel’s policy.

Moreover, the Austrian vote is not an outlier event. Far from Hofer being Europe’s solitary Trump, a glance across the continent reveals the political centre has shattered, as people look elsewhere for a voice. Far-right politicians are engaging with voters on issues long ignored by elites: economic insecurity, EU elitism, open borders, national identity, social and cultural cohesion.

Start in France where far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and her National Front party may cause shock waves in next year’s presidential and legislative elections. In Germany anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany has emerged as a force in state elections. In The Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and beyond, outrage over immigration has put populists into parliament. It’s the same northwards where Scandinavian countries famous for their social welfare models have also felt the backlash against uncontrolled immigration policies.

In Norway, there’s Sylvi Listhaug from the populist Progress Party. The Finns Party (formerly True Finns) is in government in Finland. In Sweden, which has accepted the highest number of refugees per capita than any other country in the world, far-right nationalists, Sweden Democrats, is the country’s third largest party. In January, the Swedish government decided to deport 80,000 asylum-seekers.

In Denmark too, Merkel’s migrant-crisis fault lines have elevated Thulesen Dahl, the leader of the Danish People’s Party, to represent the second-largest party in parliament.

In fact, the unfolding immigration debate in Denmark offers an insight into all that is wrong with the unthinking rush of many on the Left to condemn Europeans as xenophobic if they raise questions about the arrival of more than one million asylum-seekers this year alone.

In Foreign Policy, James Kirchick explores how Denmark’s response to Europe’s migration crisis “is now looking like the better part of wisdom”. Media elites derided new Danish laws that allow the state to confiscate property from migrants seeking welfare as reminiscent of the Third Reich.

Writes Kirchick, “these reduction ad Hitlerum arguments are facile” given the same laws apply to native-born Danes. Equally shallow is the way the media has lionised Merkel as a selfless humanitarian given her policy has fuelled the rise of anti-immigration sentiments across Europe.

The self-evident truth that immigration policy needs support from the people is too often ignored by media and political elites. Danes are keen to buttress their social welfare compact, where a largely homogenous country understood a generous welfare system is the quid pro quo for paying high taxes. Hence they have backed the confiscation law along with stricter measures around asylum-seeker family reunification.

Denmark is confronting the progressive dilemma of imposing diversity and expecting solidarity. Writing more than a decade ago in Prospect magazine, David Goodhart challenged his left-leaning audience to understand the contradiction at the heart of their misty-eyed idealism.

He recalled what British conservative politician David Willetts said at a welfare forum: “The basis on which you can extract large sums of money in tax and pay it out in benefits is that most people think the recipients are people like themselves, facing difficulties that they themselves could face. If values become more diverse, if lifestyles become more differentiated, then it becomes more difficult to sustain the legitimacy of a universal risk-pooling welfare state. People ask: ‘Why should I pay for them when they are doing things that I wouldn’t do?’

“This is America versus Sweden. You can have a Swedish welfare state provided that you are a homogeneous society with intensely shared values. In the United States you have a very diverse, individualistic society where people feel fewer obligations to fellow citizens. Progressives want diversity, but they thereby undermine part of the moral consensus on which a large welfare state rests.”

The Austrian result is a timely cue to put our own immigration debate in a global context. The rush to revile Dutton for speaking about the challenges of increased immigration couldn’t be more misplaced. If we are genuinely committed to social, political and economic cohesion, we should thank Dutton for the straight-talking that mainstream European politicians have cowered from.

Our immigration response is far more measured and compassionate than many European anti-immigrant politicians, whose popularity represents a public backlash against the porous borders advocated by the muddle-headed moralisers in the Greens and Labor. It’s far better that immigration policy is settled in parliament than on the streets.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here